Passover Menu: Matzo Ball Soup and Roasted Salmon From Toronto Chef Amy Rosen
Chicken Soup (a.k.a. Jewish Penicillin). Photography, Ryan Szulc, excerpted from Kosher Style
“Over a recent bowl of excellent matzo ball soup, I got to thinking,” writes the Canadian author Amy Rosen, in her cookbook, Kosher Style: Over 100 Jewish Recipes for the Modern Cook, “this generation is in real danger of losing the Friday-night-dinner memories and a giant piece of our collective heritage.” Reading Rosen’s words got me to thinking, too, about all of our collective heritage. We’re ever speeding ahead and sometimes forgetting traditions, especially the special moments through food that many of us still try to hold dear.
“The dishes for celebrations and the ones for every day,” Rosen continues — though in Jewish homes, she says, food is always a celebration. “Obviously, I’m not the only one who feels this way, as most people love the food of their people,” she goes on. “But a lot of those people also happen to love the food of my people.”
Of course, we couldn’t resist asking Rosen for her recipe for chicken soup, which she refers to as Jewish Penicillin, the ultimate comfort food at this time of year (her roasted salmon with horseradish sauce and pickled onions would make a hearty meal for a group, too).
Chicken Soup (a.k.a. Jewish Penicillin)
A bowl of matzo ball soup is like Jewish echinacea. In fact, do a double-blind taste test, and I think you’ll find this golden broth goes a long way to healing what ails you, heart and soul. (But especially soul.)
1 roasting chicken, giblet bag removed, trimmed of excess fat and rinsed
2 parsnips, peeled and ends chopped off
2 stalks celery with leaves
2 large onions, halved
6 medium carrots, peeled and ends chopped off
Salt and pepper
- Put the chicken in a very large pot and pour in about 12 to 14 cups water, making sure clucky is covered. With the stockpot uncovered, bring to a boil, using a slotted spoon to skim and discard the foam that accumulates. Reduce heat to a simmer and add the whole parsnips, celery, onions and carrots and salt and pepper. Cook, partially covered, for at least 2 hours (3 hours is better, though). Skim occasionally as foam appears. With about 10 minutes to go, toss in the parsley and dill.
- For a pristine broth, remove the chicken, veggies and herbs from the pot and set aside. Strain soup through a sieve or colander lined with cheesecloth (or a double layer of paper towel), returning the clear broth to a clean po Shred or slice the chicken; discard onions, celery, parsley and dill; and roughly chop the carrots and parsnips and add them back into the soup before serving.
- To serve, spoon a ladle or two of broth, then add a few pieces of carrot, parsnip, a bisl of chicken (use the rest for chicken salad sandwiches tomorrow) and a sprig of fresh dill into each bow This is even better bejeweled with a couple of matzo balls, meat kreplach or egg noodles. Shabbat shalom.
Excerpted from Kosher Style: Over 100 Jewish Recipes for the Modern Cook by Amy Rosen. Copyright © 2019 Amy Rosen. Published by Appetite by Random House®, a division of Penguin Random House Canada Limited. Reproduced by arrangement with the Publisher. All rights reserved. Photographer: Ryan Szulc
Roasted Salmon with Horseradish Sauce & Pickled Onions
Serves 8 to 10
A head-turning dish full of vibrant flavors, from pickled onions to herbs to horseradish, and colors to match (hello, pink and fuchsia), this side of salmon could easily usurp gefilte fish at your next Seder.
For Pickled Onions
1⁄2 cup red wine vinegar
1 tsp kosher salt
1⁄4 cup sugar
1⁄2 cup water
1⁄2 red onion, thinly sliced
For Horseradish Sauce
1⁄2 cup mayonnaise
3 tbsp jarred beet horseradish
Juice of 1⁄2 lemon
3-1⁄2 lb whole side skin-on salmon
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp herbes de Provence
1⁄2 tsp sea salt
Pepper to taste
- To make the pickled onions, place vinegar, salt, sugar and water in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Place prepared onions in a bowl and pour the hot vinegar mixture overtop. Let cool on the counter for 1 hour, then put in the fridge to chill.
- For the horseradish sauce, stir together the mayonnaise, beet horseradish and lemon juice. Cover and refrigerate.
- Line a large rimmed baking sheet with foil or parchment paper. Place salmon, skin side down, on the baking sheet. Rub with olive oil and sprinkle with herbes de Provence, salt and pepper. Roast salmon in 450 F oven until just opaque in the centre, about 20 minutes. Serve with pickled onions and horseradish sauce on the side.
Excerpted from Kosher Style: Over 100 Jewish Recipes for the Modern Cook by Amy Rosen. Copyright © 2019 Amy Rosen. Published by Appetite by Random House®, a division of Penguin Random House Canada Limited. Reproduced by arrangement with the Publisher. All rights reserved.
A version of this article appeared in the November/December 2019 issue with the headline, “Feast,” p. 45.